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Lancers, Titans, Cougars claim holiday hoops titles Phillip Brents | Fri, Jan 07 2011 06:24 PM

Three South County boys basketball teams captured championship titles in holiday tournaments held just prior to the new year. Hilltop captured the championship in the 28th annual Aztec Holiday Classic at Montgomery High School while Eastlake won the inaugural Monte Vista Invitational title and San Ysidro claimed the top spot in its own Cougar Classic.

Overall, South Bay teams showed well over the winter break. Mar Vista captured third place in the Aztec Classic while Castle Park finished fourth in the Cougar Classic and Otay Ranch placed fourth in the Mt. Carmel Holiday Hoops tournament.

All four tournaments took place Dec. 27-30.

Aztec Classic
Hilltop, led by tournament MVP Carlos Hernandez and all-tournament pick Omar Hernandez, topped last year’s San Diego Section Division III champion Matadors, 52-43, in the championship game. The Lancers finished 4-0 in the tourney to improve to 10-3 on the season.

Perez led Hilltop with 17 points and 15 rebounds while Chris Shaw added 14 points and Mike Redd contributed 10 points, including consecutive three-point bombs in the second half to enable the Lancers to take the lead after trailing 28-26 at halftime.

Marcus Booker led the Matadors (10-5) with 26 points. Booker was joined on the all-tournament team by Mt. Miguel teammate Cory Littleton.

Lex Leyva tallied 18 points while teammates  Tim Riley and Demarcus Henderson contributed 14 and 13 points, respectively, to lead Mar Vista past Mater Dei Catholic, 69-59, in the third-place game. Henderson joined Leyva on the all-tournament team.

Five Metro Conference teams participated in the Aztec Classic. Mar Vista  (7-8) finished 3-1, while Bonita Vista (5-8) and Mater Dei (9-4) each finished 2-2 and host Montgomery (3-10) went 1-3.

Local all-tourney picks also included Travis Waller (Bonita Vista), Damon Hines (Montgomery) and Myles Nolan-Webb (Mater Dei).

El Capitan’s Tyson Kygar rounded out the all-tournament team.

Hilltop defeated El Capitan (63-45), Mar Vista (46-38) and Bonita Vista (66-62) to advance to the championship game while Mt. Miguel topped Southwest El Centro (67-28), Mater Dei (44-39) and Montgomery (57-32) to meet the Lancers in the final.

Mar Vista defeated Bonita Vista (70-57) and El Capitan (58-36) to go with its third-place game victory over the Crusaders. Bonita Vista’s two tourney victories came against Montgomery (58-43) and El Capitan (63-59) while Mater Dei Catholic defeated Southwest El Centro (54-43) and Montgomery (47-46). Montgomery’s lone tourney win came against Southwest El Centro (52-48).

Monte Vista Invitational
Eastlake improved to 8-4 after edging host Monte Vista, 50-49, in the final. Aaron Baltazar led the Titans with 12 points while Jar Garcia added 10 points. Eastlake recovered from an early 9-0 deficit with a 13-0 run to end the opening period and led 27-23 at halftime, forcing the Monarchs to play catch up on the scoreboard.

The Titans, who were coming off a 1-2 showing at the KSA Disney World Classic Dec. 16-18 in Florida, capitalized on 23 turnovers throughout the game.

Brian Sterling led the Monarchs (9-3) with 17 points while teammate Reuben Nwando poured in 15 points. Kyle Luster led Monte Vista with 10 rebounds while adding 11 points.

Eastlake will host Escondido in a 6:30 p.m. non-league game on Jan. 12 before tipping off Mesa League play Jan. 19 with a 6 p.m. home game against Mater Dei.

Cougar Classic
San Ysidro topped Serra, 80-59, in the championship game as Armondo Guzman poured in 25 points, Eddie Martin had 21 points and Javion Watson dropped in 19 points. Watson was named the tournament’s MVP.

In the third-place game, Imperial defeated Castle Park 48-31.

The Cougars (10-4) racked up five wins in the tournament, defeating Imperial (87-62), High Tech (79-37), Castle Park (87-50) and Calvary Christian Academy (91-39) en route to the finals appearance against the Conquistadors.

Castle Park (6-10) finished 2-2 with victories against CCA (68-32) and High Tech (58-39).

Spartan Classic

Helix defeated Grossmont Hills League rival Grossmont, 48-34, in the championship game. Southwest and Sweetwater both finished 2-2 while host Chula Vista went 1-3 and Olympian finished 0-4 to lead the local contingent on the floor.

CV coach Gerrard Galvan said the match-ups throughout the opening three days of the tourney were to facilitate teams that hadn’t played one another so far this season or that normally do not play one another in league play.

The match-ups thus were rather intriguing. Southwest defeated Chula Vista (61-38) and Steele Canyon (60-43) while Sweetwater topped Steele Canyon (70-65) and Chula Vista (68-54). The Spartans recorded their lone victory in the tourney in a 50-47 come-from-behind effort against Steele Canyon.

Olympian’s losses came against Morse (83-37), Helix (55-33), Steele Canyon (49-43) and Point Loma (61-57).

In the championship game, Helix’s defensive scheme proved effective in shutting down the Foothillers’ top scoring threats. Kenny Keys paced the Scotties (8-4) with a game-high 20 points while grabbing seven rebounds and making one steal. Titus Young contributed 12 points, three rebounds and five assists while Brian Valadez had 10 points, a game-high 12 rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Robby Nesovic led Grossmont (9-5) with 11 points and five rebounds while Derek Rustich had nine points and eight rebounds and Michael Wnek had eight points. The Highlanders’ defensive game plan was primarily directed by Desean Waters, who was limited to just four points.

En route to the tourney title, Helix defeated Sweetwater (74-55) , Olympian and Morse (47-34). Grossmont advanced to the championship game with victories against Point Loma (63-53), Vista (66-64 in overtime) and Southwest (51-46).

Sweetwater hosts Southwest in a South Bay League game on Friday, Jan. 7, at 7 p.m.

Girls hoops
On the girls side, Montgomery finished second to traditional section powerhouse Mt. Miguel, 58-45, in the finals of the Aztec Classic. Montgomery (8-5) finished 3-1 in the tournament.

No other details were available.

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